BERMUDA DUNES - Family members of 63-year-old Sandra Smith arrived at the scene on Monday morning visibly upset.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department said the victim's husband shot her just before midnight. The murder left neighbors stunned.
"I just can't believe that," said neighbor Juliet Fregoso.
Police arrested Garey Smith, 55, at the home located in the 41-000 block of Trinity Circle.
"We've never seen police tapes on our block," said Amy Aguer. "Our neighbors are all real nice. We all get along."
Police say they came to the home responding to a domestic violence call at 11:53 p.m. Sunday. When they arrived they found Smith's wife dead inside.
Investigators say couples should never resort to violence. "If you have an argument with your spouse --- before it gets physical --- we recommend that somebody leave the house whether it's you or your spouse," said Sgt. Joseph Borja. "Get some fresh air, take a walk, do something else."
It is not known yet why Smith allegedly killed his wife. But neighbors tell News Channel 3 the couple had fallen on hard times.
"I think he was laid off from work for quite awhile," said Aguer. "I don't know. That can be really hard."
Fregoso said she bought the couple's television set recently. "They were selling all their stuff, and I thought they were moving. But, he's [Smith] like, 'No, we're just getting rid of some stuff.' That was it," she said.
Neighbors say the couple had lived on the block for as many as 20 years, and to hear about the couple's domestic troubles truly has hit the entire neighborhood hard.
"Their home was always beautiful," recalled Aguer. "I''m really sorry to hear that."